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School Honors Eight

The School of Engineering inducted seven accomplished alumni into the Academy of Distinguished Engineers and also feted a local entrepreneur during its annual awards banquet on Tuesday, April 27, 2010. The gala event capped a day in which the new inductees presented seminars on a range of technical and professional topics, including innovations in accelerated bridge construction; systems engineering; use of gas turbines in energy conversion; career preparation, pathways and challenges; pathways to a low carbon economy and other subjects.

The dinner reception featured remarks by Suman Singha, Senior Vice Provost and VP of Research, who lauded the School of Engineering as among the most productive units within the university and expressed admiration for the achievements of engineers, who “profoundly affect every facet of human endeavor.”

Dean of Engineering Mun Y. Choi, Associate Dean for Research & Strategic Initiatives Kazem Kazerounian, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education & Diversity Marty Wood, and Dr. Singha presented the Distinguished Service Award and Academy of Distinguished Engineers awards.

The Distinguished Engineering Service awards honor individuals who have generously provided service, time and resources to the School of Engineering. The Academy of Distinguished Engineers honors alumni whose careers are characterized by their sustained and exemplary contributions to the engineering profession.

The awardees are named below. Full profiles appear here.

Distinguished Engineering Service Award

Kevin Bouley (B.A. Finance, UConn ’80), President and CEO of Nerac, Inc. of Tolland, CT.

Academy of Distinguished Engineers

Francis Chan (Ph.D. ’99), Science Advisor to the Commander of the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Force.
Michael Culmo (B.S.E. ’83, M.S. ’86), Vice President of Transportation and Structures, CME Associates, Woodstock, CT.
Zhongxue Gan (M.S. ’92, Ph.D. ’95), Chief Technology Officer of ENN Group.
John Halkias, Ph.D. (B.S.E. ’78), Team Leader in the Office of Operations, Federal Highway Administration.
Martin Hosek (Ph.D. ’97), currently embarking on an entrepreneurial venture in manufacturing automation, but most recently Vice President of Hardware Engineering and Technology within the Critical Solutions Group, Brooks Automation.
Robert Klancko (B.S.E. ’67), a Partner with Klancko & Klancko LLC, Woodbridge, CT.
Lee Langston, Ph.D. (B.S. ’59), professor emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, UConn.

KEVIN A. BOULEY (B.A. Finance, ’80)
Kevin A. Bouley is President and CEO of Nerac, Inc., a Tolland, CT-based global research and advisory firm. He joined Nerac as a telesales specialist in 1980 and rose through roles of increasing responsibility. In 1999, as Executive Vice President, he bought Nerac and transformed it into a value-added technology and intellectual property advisory research firm. Nerac has since been recognized repeatedly by Deloitte & Touche as among the 50 fastest growing Connecticut technology companies. At the Tolland facility, he has provided incubator space for start-up companies–many headed by UConn alumni and faculty. He has maintained close working alliances with the schools of Business and Engineering, as well as UConn’s Technology Incubation Program and Office of Technology Commercialization. Mr. Bouley serves on the School of Engineering Advisory Board and the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation Advisory Board, and he previously served on the boards of the Connecticut Technology Council and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association. Mr. Bouley was instrumental in the establishment of the Entrepreneurship in Senior Design Program, a collaborative effort between the School of Engineering and School of Business. He earned his undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Connecticut.

FRANCIS CHAN (Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, ’99)
Francis (Frank) Chan, Ph.D., is Science Advisor to Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Navy. He is responsible for providing objective scientific and technical advice to the Commander and his staff. Prior to this fleet assignment, he served 14 years at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, RI. As Division Head, he managed an 80-person division that executed more than $100 million of technical/engineering tasks annually. The Naval Sea Systems (NAVSEA) Command designated him a Technical Area Expert for submarine imaging, electromagnetic, electro-optic and electronic warfare systems. Dr. Chan developed and deployed the first digital imaging system for the U.S. submarine force. He has received five Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medals, the Navy Achievement Medal and other honors. He served 10 years on active duty (’81-’91) and retired from the Navy Reserves with the rank of Captain after 27 years of service. While employed at Tracor Applied Sciences from 1991 through 1995, he led surface ship and submarine sonar system testing, data analysis and performance evaluation. Dr. Chan has served on the Industrial Advisory Board of the Computer Science & Engineering Department since 2003. He earned his B.S. from the University of Rochester (’79), M.S.E.E. and Electrical Engineers degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School (’86), and an M.S. in product development from the Joint Naval Postgraduate School/MIT program (’02).

MICHAEL P. CULMO
(B.S.E. Civil Engineering, ’83; M.S. Structural Engineering, ’86)
Michael P. Culmo is Vice President of Transportation and Structures with CME Associates, Inc. in Woodstock, CT. With expertise in structural design and engineering–including steel, concrete, pre-stressed concrete and timber bridges–Mr. Culmo took on the task of establishing a structural engineering division when he joined CME in 1996. He has been involved in the design of several award-winning bridges that captured top honors from the National Steel Bridge Alliance and the Prestressed/Precast Concrete Institute. Mr. Culmo has collaborated with UConn researchers to develop and install bridge performance and fatigue sensing monitors on Connecticut bridges. Recently, he has worked in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration to advance technologies in accelerated bridge construction (ABC), where bridges can be built in days instead of years. He has also authored/co-authored over 25 scholarly papers, manuals and other publications, taught a graduate-level course, and mentored senior design students. Mr. Culmo has advised the undergraduate Steel Bridge Club for nine years, during which the teams have succeeded to the national competition six times. He is a licensed professional engineer in six states.

ZHONGXUE GAN
(M.S., Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, ’92, ’95)
Zhongxue Gan, Ph.D., is Vice Chairman of the Board, Chief Technology Officer of the ENN Group, President of ENN Science & Technology Ltd., and Vice Chairman of XinAoMDT Technologies Ltd., Hebei, PRC. Earlier in his career, he worked as a Technical Director and Senior Research Fellow with the ABB Research Center in the U.S. and Shanghai, where he made significant breakthroughs in four core areas of robot research: robot relative calibration, robot programming, robot real-time control and robot material removing process. Dr. Gan pioneered industrial robotic products that provide control technologies to the nuclear industry, automated and accurate blade grinding, efficient automated robotic programming, and robotic hybrid force and position control. He is the architect behind green energy initiatives at ENN Group and has invented the novel sys-energy efficiency technology which leads to an integrated energy system solution including low-temperature catalytic gasification, and carbon dioxide utilization through artificial photosynthesis, which demonstrated an eco-solution for coal-based fossil energy. He holds 17 patents and has published over 50 archival technical papers. In addition, Dr. Gan has forged strong industrial ties between the U.S. and China that enhance productive relations between the two countries, and he has worked hard to establish research collaborations between ENN and the University of Connecticut.

JOHN A. HALKIAS
(B.S.E. Civil Engineering, ’78)
John Halkias, Ph.D., is the Team Leader of Systems Management in the Office of Operations with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). His contributions to the practice of transportation engineering include projects of national significance dealing with facilitating technology transfer and development of state-of-the-art and advanced highway transportation technologies, traffic signal control systems, communication systems and transportation congestion management technologies and strategies. He currently leads a team that is focusing chiefly on congestion mitigation. Before joining FHWA in 2000, Dr. Halkias was President of Halkias Traffic Analysis Consultants. For the past 16 years, he has been teaching, as an adjunct professor, at the Carey School of Business, John Hopkins University. He has 31 years experience in the quantitative analysis, statistics and transportation systems engineering field within private sector, academic and federal governmental sectors. Dr. Halkias has 24 scholarly journal publications and has delivered dozens of presentations at transportation conferences and meetings. He is a member of the American Society of Engineering Education and the Institute of Transportation Engineers, and he serves on numerous committees of the Transportation Research Board. Dr. Halkias received his M.S. (’81) and Ph.D. (’86) degrees in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University, Morgantown.

MARTIN HOSEK
(Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, ’97)
Martin Hosek, Ph.D., is currently embarking on an entrepreneurial venture in manufacturing automation, but most recently he was Vice President of Hardware Engineering and Technology within the Critical Solutions Group of Brooks Automation, Chelmsford, MA, a leading worldwide provider of automation and vacuum solutions to the global semiconductor industry and adjacent markets. He is responsible for technical development and continuous improvement of a broad range of products, including robotic manipulators, cryogenic solutions and control systems. The technologies and products developed under his leadership have enabled improved productivity, yield and energy efficiency of manufacturing processes for semiconductor devices, data storage media and flat panel displays. Dr. Hosek joined the company in 1997 and has held positions of increasing technical and managerial responsibility, including Director of Controls Engineering and Vice President of Robotics and Controls Development. Earlier in his career, he made scientific and technical contributions to the areas of vibration suppression, control design and computer assisted learning. He has consistently promoted effective knowledge dissemination between the academic and industrial communities through technical symposia, lectures and collaboration. Dr. Hosek has authored over 40 journal and conference publications, contributed to a mechanical design handbook, and holds seven patents with more than 15 patents pending. He received his Ing. and Dr. degrees from the Czech Technical University of Prague in 1993 and 1998, respectively.

ROBERT J. KLANCKO
(B.S.E. Chemical Engineering/Nuclear Engineering, ’67)
Robert J. Klancko is a Partner in the consulting firm of Klancko & Klancko, LLC, of Woodbridge, CT, where his scope of responsibilities spans environmental, security and risk, educational, and materials processing aspects. Earlier in his career, Mr. Klancko served in environmental management roles with United Illuminating, Century Brass Products, and the Anaconda American Brass Company. He is a ranking member of the State Emergency Response Commission and a member of the State Nuclear Energy Advisory Council. Mr. Klancko was a co-founder and first chair of the University of Connecticut Engineering Alumni Society. Mr. Klancko was awarded the UConn School of Engineering’s Distinguished Service (1994) and Distinguished Engineering Alumni awards (1993). A member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 2001, he received the Connecticut Materials Week’s–Materials Professional of the Year Award. He has been an adjunct faculty member at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Hartford since 1972. In addition, Mr. Klancko is a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Environmental Forum and the New Haven Manufacturers Association, Executive Committee of the Southern Connecticut Chapter of the ASM International, and numerous others.

LEE S. LANGSTON
(B.S. Mechanical Engineering, ’59)
Lee S. Langston, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of mechanical engineering at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Langston joined UConn in 1977 following more than a decade in engineering positions with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, East Hartford. With expertise in heat transfer, fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, his research on turbine blade cascade/end wall interactions, known collectively as the “Langston cascade,” is widely regarded and heavily cited by the gas turbine research community. Furthermore, he was instrumental in convincing UConn to build the $80M combined-cycle cogeneration plant that supplies electricity, heat and cooling to the entire Storrs campus. Dr. Langston served as Interim Dean of the School of Engineering from 1997-’98. He was Vice President (’97-’00) and a member of the Board of Directors (’90-’00, ’05-’09) of the International Gas Turbine Institute of ASME, and he has served as editor-in-chief of the Transactions of the ASME, Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power (’01-’06). He is a Life Fellow of ASME and a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science & Engineering. He has 60 scholarly journal publications and one patent. Dr. Langston received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University in 1960 and 1964, respectively.